DURBAN – Video entertainment production in South Africa has been halted for nearly a month, as the industry adheres to the National lockdown needed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
SABC has confirmed that the number one TV show in SA, Uzalo with an average viewership of 10-million is running out of episodes for the rest of the month. Another show in trouble is DStv’s longest-running telenovela Isibaya.
“The SABC can confirm that due to the production of SABC1’s popular series Uzalo being halted as a result of the lockdown, unfortunately, there is limited stock for this particular programme,” said SABC acting spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo.
Meanwhile, DStv’s highest-rated soapie, The Queen also announced that it will not be able deliver content by the end of May.
“We don’t have further episodes to deliver or broadcast post the first week of May. There’s still a lot of uncertainty, as no-one can predict when we’ll be able to resume work,” said Connie Ferguson, who runs Ferguson Films.
Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment said they have committed R80m to pay salaries for the cast, crew and creatives that are involved in MultiChoice Group commissioned productions for April.
Free-to-air TV channel, e.tv has cancelled all filming of daily soapies and dramas including: “Scandal!”, “Rhythm City” and “Imbewu after the national lockdown was imposed.
“The SABC has put measures in place, including crucial engagements with relevant stakeholders concerning the organization’s delivery on the set local content quotas as well as possible essential service permission for certain productions,” said Seapolelo.
However productions, including Generations: The Legacy, Muvhango, Skeem Saam and 7de Laan have sufficient transmission stock until after the lockdown thus, ensuring uninterrupted airing of episodes for South Africans to enjoy and importantly remain at home.
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